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2018-04-01
Practical Secretary Desks – The Furniture Hiding a Secret Due to the increase in the importance of education, the furniture for writing began to appear also in the interiors of houses belonging to representatives of the middle class. Secretaries, along with desks, were particularly popular. All this because of their functionality. Such furniture had already been known in the 16th century, but it became particularly popular during the Biedermeier period. Thanks to the column structure, it easily integrated into the rooms, saving space at the same time, which was not without significance in the apartments located in bourgeois tenement houses.
2017-06-21

Card and Sewing Tables – Stylish Home Accessories

The furniture for playing games, commonly referred to as card tables, as well as sewing tables, were treated in the old times as a luxury and rare items. They were not a part of the basic equipment of an average house, but were made as luxury items, on order of wealthy people. Their high price was determined by both the craftsmanship and the type of material used in the manufacture. Some tables were intarsiated, others inlaid, and precious types of wood were often used, such as: ebony, satin wood, rosewood. Ivory, brass or mother-of-pearl were used for inlay.

 

Karciak w stylu BoulleKarciak w stylu Boulle

First tables for playing games appeared at the end of the 17th century. The fold-out tops were padded inside with rep or felt, and were supported on legs connected with a stretcher. This was, however, a nonfunctional solution that hindered the players, which is why the design has been improved over time. One of the rear legs rotated at ninety degree angle in such a way that it supported the fold-out table top. In the mid. 18th century, a folding mechanism was used to fold-out the table – by extending two rear legs, together with the apron. Later, tables supported on a central pedestal with a top, the parts of which were connected with hinges and opened after being turned around a non-centric axis, were popular.

 Karciak neorokoko  Karciak angielski rozkładany
They could be used not only for entertainment but also as a handy side table or a console. Some models were equipped with drawers for winnings and candle holders. In most cases, the function of card tables was not limited to playing cards. It happened that they also had a chessboard. During the Regency period, many pieces were also adapted to the game of backgammon by adding a two-sided pull-out top. Depending on the period in which they were manufactured, they could also have different shapes – from simple to more sophisticated.  For example, Neoclassicism was characterized by restrained, semicircular forms decorated with marquetry or fillet stripes. For the Victorian era, more ornate shapes were typical; and the Baroque period – especially in the case of Boulle furniture – was a real splendor.

Karciak angielski rozkładanyKarciak angielski rozkładany

Sewing tables were the second type of the antique furniture. During the Biedermeier and Louis Philippe periods, they appeared in almost all forms. In the Neo-Renaissance period, the most frequently encountered shape was a rectangular apron supported on profiled balusters that went into a bipod and were connected with a stretcher. Sewing tables were usually smaller in size than game tables, and were more personal because they were usually owned by one woman. Due to the absence of other pastimes, needlework was women’s domain, and every self-respecting lady had to master the skill of embroidering or making lace. Sewing table usually had one drawer under the top, but the more sophisticated ones had two – one above the other. Sometimes, the upper part could not be pulled-out, but the access to it was possible by lifting the hinged table top. Mirrors or patterned decorations were placed on the top’s inner side. Sewing tables belonging to the aristocracy sometimes had intarsiated or inlaid heraldic emblems and initials of the owner. The most sophisticated was the inside of this furniture. It was divided into a series of small compartments; usually with lids covered with exotic veneers with beautiful grain, and ivory handles. The compartments made it possible to keep threads and sewing accessories in perfect order. Tables that are a combination of a game table and a sewing table are rarely seen; sometimes also with a pull-out writing top.

Dębowy stolik do szycia niciakNiciak w stylu biedermeier

In modern times, card and sewing tables still enjoy great recognition. It is so not only due to the historical value or often high craftsmanship but also practicalness. Aesthetic and decorative values are combined with utility. For example, another application for sewing tables was found. The compartments that used to store threads are now well suited for storing cosmetics and jewelry, which is why sewing tables perfectly substitute vanities. They also have the advantage of not taking up much space.

Stolik niciak intarsjowanyStolik niciak intarsjowany

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